Monthly Archives: July 2015

Crash Landings – Return Entry into Hove, England

Hove

The English summer is a bit colder than I like!

Now I know none of you are going to feel sorry for me after this years travel.  Still the return to ‘home’ hasn’t been easy.  Mainly because neither of us know what our next permanent move will be?  Will we stay here?  Will we move somewhere else?  Seems we have too many choices and not enough weeding out the possibilities.

So…what have I been doing this first week?  Well, slowly getting boxes out of our attic and rebuilding our house.  Dealing with the utility bills reconnection.  Picking up keys and a year’s worth of mail – always fun to sort!  We got about six personal items in the bag, but mostly stuff for the recycle – not bad really after a year away.

post

Our post/mail for a year!

We met with friends and had a catch up at an English summer BBQ which included the traditional English summer drink of PIMMS!

BBQ

BBQ with the boys

I’ve even started my lovely speed walks along the beach – always a great place to be!

Walk

Speed Walking on Hove Beach Front

I think I’m getting my non-traveling legs again and have started teaching a few acting classes to help cover for a friend.

Our Air BnB is starting to get booked up with guests again and I’m getting to work on my new small business in travel blogging.  So my website could be changing in the near future and the plans to continue the travel writing are all go, so watch this space….!

Indian shoes

My back at home travel feet!

What new adventures are you up to?

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Travel around the world

Bonus Week 55 – The final days… Delhi and Dubai

‘I choose to be free’

[How this works is, each week, I will write to someone on my list, picked randomly and I will post it online on this blog – just in case the letter doesn’t reach its destination.  The letter includes a card with a random quote, which I hope you will enjoy (at the top of this blog page).]

Last page

The last page of our travels.

This has been the last week of our year of travel adventures.  It is odd to be back and in our house, but I’ll write more about that in the future.  It’s just hard to imagine what we’ve managed to see and do in one year!

This week has definitely ended us on a high.  We headed back to Delhi and we got to see a few sites we had missed on our first time through.  Our first stop was the Bahai ‘Lotus’ Temple.  Bahai is a religion which embraces all religions.  It was a beautiful, peaceful and quiet place.

Delhi

Lotus Temple, Delhi

We, then, headed off to see the India Gate which is a huge memorial to those who gave their lives in WW II.  John had tried to see this memorial two other times, so third time lucky!

India Gate

India Gate

We did a last stop shop of arts and crafts at the Dilli Haat.  A lovely market like area where I had a gentleman even paint some art on my thumb nail!

Dilli Haat

Art on my thumb!

One thing I did that I could carry with me for a few days was to get my hands henna-ed.  He put two peacocksand – without my knowing it – theTaj Mahal – how cool is that?!

Henna

Henna on hands

Just before we arrived home we had a few days in Dubai and, like Singapore, this city grows on me every time I go there.  I had arranged a desert safari which included a falcon show, jeep ride in the dunes, a beautiful sunset, dinner in the desert, a camel ride and a belly dancer. (see photos at bottom of blog from this tour!)

To top the end of my trip off, I met with an old highschool friend living in the UAE.

Norm

Norm and I

We went around Dubai to see some ‘culture’ which started with an awesome visit to a local mosque.

We had an incredible talk from our guide – highly recommend going there and learning more about the muslim faith.

Dubai

Jumeirah Mosque

We saw the famous Burj Khalifa tower,

Burj

Like my new hat?

the fish tank in the mall,

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall

the diving sculptures,

Divers

Divers fountain

ice rink

Ice Rink

Ice Rink – Dubai

and, of course, tea!

Laduree

Laduree Cafe, Dubai Mall

What a great way to end a year of travel, now what to next…?!  Well, watch this space, there are plans a foot…I may not know them all, but I know that there is change in the air!

Happy travels,

Debx

Photos from our safari in the desert:

Taj Mahal

12th Month – June video Blogs

Below is my video blog on our travels round the world on you tube from June – there are two this month.

This first centres around Cambodia and Thailand:

The second is our first two weeks in India:

Seat

Bonus Week 54 – Spying around in Udaipur, India

‘A word after a word after a word is power.’ – Margaret Atwood

[How this works is, each week, I will write to someone on my list, picked randomly and I will post it online on this blog – just in case the letter doesn’t reach its destination.  The letter includes a card with a random quote, which I hope you will enjoy (at the top of this blog page).]

I have chosen a literature quote this week to highlight another blog and challenge I set for myself on this trip.  The blog is called ‘the Books I Carry‘ and the challenge was to take a bunch of books I had sitting on my shelves that I ‘never found time to read.’  There were over 20 of them – pretty much the weight of one suitcase!  Well, this week, I finished the last of these books and that ‘extra weight’ is gone.  I’m so glad I took the time to read them and then let them go.  Not only have I learned a lot with my travels, I had time to learn a lot from these books – some were easier to read than others, but all were worth the effort.  So, my question this week is – what sorts of creative goals do you set when you travel, if any?  Why or why not?

Udaipur

Udaipur – old town

Now, my week in Udaipur!

room

Plunge pool in bedroom!

It seems we saved the best for last.  We were very lucky to get upgraded to a beautiful suite (where I did my last travel singing video.)

singing video

Photo from the filming we did in the room of the video.

As a result, we just didn’t want to leave the room!  We had the best views of the city, the restaurants in the area were excellent

Lake Palace

Restarant with view of Lake Palace.

and we had two jacuzzi pools – one in the bedroom!

Wedding

A home in the old part of Udaipur where there was a wedding recently.

We did drag ourselves away from our luxury and went on a walking tour of the old city, largest temple

Udaipur

Jagdish Temple, Udaipur

and city palace.  Yogi was our best tour guide yet and very helpful with local places to eat and such.

Udaipur

City Palace, Udaipur

This city was the location in India for Octopussy – if you haven’t seen it, it’s a Roger Moore Bond film.  We watched it here at a roof top restaurant and the city film locations were our backdrop – awesome experience.

Boat

James Bond’s Octopussy Boat

Water Palace

Water Palace, Udaipur

Udaipur is where most of the weddings happen in India and after our lake cruise, I really could see why.  There are two lake palaces to hold guests and weddings (guests here can go up to 3000 people!).  Plus, this is the location for the number one hotel in the world!

Dharohar

Dancer at the Dharohar

I, almost, forgot, we went out to an old Haveli – a nobles home which was, also, used as an ancient hostelry, where they did a brilliant cultural show with a 67-year-old woman who stole the night away with her water pots dance.  Just goes to show ya – you are never too old!

Female dancer

67 year-old female dancer – she did carry more – 11! As well as, crawling all over the floor with them!

Also, like to mention that we bought some beautiful hand-made leather shoes for $35 American – they are just gorgeous and very comfy!

leather shoes

These are the hand-made leather shoes

Now, we are back in Delhi for our last week of India and soon off to Dubai and back our home.

Love Debx

Bonus Week 53 – Tiger Hunting, The Blue City and my 1st Camel Ride – Jodhpur, India

‘The tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart. So be careful with your words.’

[How this works is, each week, I will write to someone on my list, picked randomly and I will post it online on this blog – just in case the letter doesn’t reach its destination.  The letter includes a card with a random quote, which I hope you will enjoy (at the top of this blog page).]

Udaipur

Udaipur Water Palace

In just over 2 weeks, I’ll be back in ‘jolly old’ England and trying a new business adventure and getting my English feet back – seems hard to imagine, as I sit on a terrace listening to the call to prayer in the beautiful setting sun of Udaipur, India.

Well, what can I say? Another awesome week in India, we started off with going to Ranthambore National Park – hunting for a good photo shoot of a tiger. We didn’t get one, but we did see many other animals – deer, birds – especially peacocks dancing and chipmunks!

Peacock

Peacock at Ranthambore National Park

Jodhpur

Jodhpur – the blue city

The next day, we left the pink city of Jaipur for the blue city of Jodhpur – Wow! We decided to do a home stay in the middle of the old city which afforded stellar views of the town and fort from its roof top restaurant. It felt more like a boutique hotel really. Our first day, we went out into the narrow streets which led up to the fort. The fort had an excellent audio guide as part of the entrance fee, so it helped explain the history and, relatively recent redo on the Fort. It belonged to the Raj, but fell into disrepair, so the last Raj, gave it to a trust and it’s now gaining its former glory back.

Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Then, we did a village safari which was more like a ‘living museum’, but it’s the real thing with these families living and working in their respective ways for many generations. Really beautiful!

Village Safari Tours

Village Safari Tours – Jodhpur

Next, we were off into the desert for my first ever camel ride. We stopped off at a lovely temple first,

Temple

Sachiya Mata Temple, Osian

then to the camels and dinner in the desert – India style. I loved it and hope to get to do it again in my lifetime – so peaceful and the camels’ feet – amazing to watch.

Camel hoof

Camel Hoof – amazing to watch in action – so maluable!

Now, we are in Udaipur – a beautiful city. When we drove here, we went to a Jai Temple made of marble – stellar!

Ranakpur Temple

Ranakpur Marble Temple

I love India!

Love
Debx

Groote Beer ship

Groote Beer – Ocean Crossing – Ingeborg Bridge

“As featured in the ‘Okanagan on Sunday’ newspaper- July 26th, 2015”

(This is a short rendition of my Mother’s travels from Austria to Canada as a young girl.  It was written in collaboration with my Mother for the Halifax museum for immigrants who arrived there on the Groote Beer Ship.)

The OCEAN CROSSING on the GROOTE BEERIngeborg Bridge

September 22, 1952

9 years old, that’s how old I was, when my life changed forever and I started my journey from Vienna, Austria to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. It was 1952, when I first learned that my parents had decided to move closer to my Mom’s twin sister in Canada, she had moved there a year earlier saying that ‘the streets were paved with gold.’ It took some convincing, as our lives in Austria were going ok, despite all the difficulties after the war, but my Mom really wanted to go and she, eventually, convinced my Dad that it would be a good move for us.

So, we started our journey with trains through Europe towards Rotterdam, Holland. We didn’t have a ticket for the ship, but we had heard that people cancel and that you can get on a ship last-minute – kinda like stand by on planes now-a-days. We were fortunate to have some family just outside of Rotterdam, where we were able to stay, so when we arrived, we went straight there and waited for a few weeks before a slot came free on the Groote Beer ship. My time in Holland was not wasted, I really liked it there, as the language was easy for me to understand, it was quite similar to the German I spoke and I went to school and the family I stayed with had a girl about my age who I could play with.

When the time came on September 22, 1952 it was a dreary, dull, chilly day and my Aunt was the only one from the family we stayed with, who saw us off. The day I left, the one memory, which really sticks out for me, is when my Aunt, I stayed with, had bought me a walking doll, I’d never had such a beautiful porcelain doll, she had real red hair and a blue dress. So, we boarded the ship in Rotterdam and started our big journey to this place called, Canada. I had only heard about it through my parents and had very little idea of what it was like or where we were going to or, even, how long it would take to get there. Still, so far, the adventure had been great and it didn’t stop there. My time on the Groote Beer was full of fond memories of playing with the crew and, the few, other kids that weren’t sea sick, as it was a very turbulent crossing.

When we boarded, my Dad was separated from us and had to sleep with men only, so he had his own bunk in a room with several other men. We would meet at meal times or on deck. My Mom and I shared a bunk with several other women in the same room. I didn’t mind, as it was something I had never experienced before, so it was all so new and exciting. The beds were 3 tier and they were like in war pictures – white beds and metal; like hospital beds.

Our crossing was very rough, but I was lucky, I don’t get seasick. When the ship was in rough seas, the kids and I were in the dining room, rocking back and forth across the room with the movement of the ship. There were no adults there, just us kids having a fun time in this great big room where we were able to play.

We had only one good day and that was the only day my parents came up on deck because the sun came out and it was so calm. Photos were taken by a professional photographer that day, which are at the bottom of this post. Otherwise, my parents were both seasick, basically hanging over the edge of their bunks – green.

The crossing took a week direct from Rotterdam to Halifax arriving there September 30, 1952.

Upon arrival in Canada, things turned for the worse. We arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but we didn’t even touch Canadian soil, we were shuffled straight over a railway bridge to the trains and there boarded the slowest and oldest trains compared to faster trains in Europe at that time. We didn’t have sleeping compartments, we slept in the chairs, which didn’t recline; it was more like wooden benches. We were used to Europe second class trains with upholstered seats. By the time we had reached Windsor, we were exhausted and didn’t have such a great impression of my new home country. They all spoke a language I couldn’t understand and Windsor was nothing like Vienna. I think my parents were very disappointed as well, but they had plans to go out West, when they managed to get enough money together. It cost us everything we had to get to Windsor, so our trip to move to the West of Canada was put on hold.

My Mother was the only one who could speak any English, as she had worked as a chambermaid in a Villa on the island of Guernsey, UK, before the war broke out, so times were tough for us when we arrived. We moved in with my Mother’s twins’ sister where we lived upstairs and shared the kitchen, bathroom and living room, with them, downstairs. It was a full house, but I did have some cousins to play with, but my parents fought a lot. Unlike what had been written to us by my Mom’s twin, there were no jobs and my parents struggled to find work and it took us a few years before we could get a home of our own and, then, we bought a land and my Father built our first house.

School in Canada was hard for me because I did not speak any English. They didn’t have programs like today, where they help kids with English as a second language. I was 9 and they put me into Grade one – I should have been in Grade four, this had long-lasting impact on my self-esteem and hindered my education. The kids were mean and ridiculed me and on my first day of school I curtsied to my teacher and she laughed and so, I made a strong effort to learn English and make sure I lost my accent. The only kids, who were my friends, were outsiders like me – a midget, a little black girl, etc. I did catch up 2 years of my schooling over the years, but I never managed to catch up the third one. I was 18 in Grade 12, rather than the usual 17-year-old.

So my first impressions of Canada were not great, but they changed. While I lived with my parents, we never managed to make enough money to move to the Western part of Canada, which was more like our homeland. I grew up and we moved to London, Ontario, where I went to high school and met my high school sweet heart and married him. His idea of impressing me, when we first met, was to do a cannon ball into 3 feet of water! He has always been one to make me laugh to this day, as we are now married 53 years. We had our first child in London, Ontario, my husband worked in Detroit, so we moved back to Windsor for a short spell.

Never giving up on the hope of moving West, we went on a trip there and fell in love with this beautiful place called Vancouver and all of BC and decided this was for us. At the time we said we would be back within 5 years, we were back within a year, as my husband’s company closed in Detroit. We headed west with a U-Haul trailer with a few of our belongings and $500.00 in search for a job and new home. We left our son with our parents for a short time until we were settled. Moving to this province was a choice we have never regretted.

Soon my next child, a girl was born and our little family was complete. My parents, finally, realized their dream to move west and moved out soon after the birth of our daughter. My husband went on to be a very successful business/salesman in the peat/fertilizer business and I went on to finish my high school degree, get my travel agents license (travel has always been a passion of mine) and started my own travel agency in the Okanagan, which was, also, very successful.

My son now lives close to us in the Okanagan working in a marina and as a Ferrier – has given us our 2 lovely grandchildren. My daughter went off to follow a career as an entertainer in England, UK. We are now retired and still traveling, which has been a large part of our lives and so continues. My start in Canada was not the easiest, but I now see this country as my home and have been very lucky to have made that great crossing so many years ago.

Photos from the trip: